With Eintracht Frankfurt losing all three of their star attackers during a traumatic summer window, the pressure was on Goncalo Paciencia to step up to the plate in the absence of Sébastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic.
Fortunately for the high-flying Eagles, the Portugal international is showing that there’s life after the £120 million strikeforce.
Paciencia has found the net six times in just nine Bundesliga starts this season, the most recent coming in the 5-1 thrashing of Bayern Munich which cost Niko Kovac his job. In fact, the former Porto youngster has been so impressive since stepping into the role of talisman at Frankfurt that Marco Silva has instructed Everton to sign the £20 million-rated forward in January (Record).
Paciencia is outstanding in the air, with neck muscles that could pull an 18-wheeler. He’s quick and tidy with the ball at his feet too while often using his 6ft frame to good effect to hold off defenders. But it’s the statistics which really tell the story.
The 25-year-old has found the net every 130 minutes of league football in 2019/20. That is far better than, for example, Mo Salah, the Balon D’Or-bothering superstar who has evolved into the strutting star man of Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool over the last two years.
Paciencia has a better conversion rate than Salah too (scoring with every 5.3 shots compared to the Egyptian’s 6.6). In fact, Salah’s dribbling completion is only marginally superior (61 per cent compared to 57) – a really impressive number when you consider that Paciencia is a centre-forward as opposed to a wide player like Salah.
Clearly, he’d give Everton the sort of out ball they have so often been crying out for this season, combining the movement and skill of a Richarlison with the sort of finishing ability that The Toffees have lacked since Romelu Lukaku’s heyday.
£20 million well spent.
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